"Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people - blind, lame, or paralyzed - lay on the porches.
“I can not, sir,” the sick man said, “For I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me.
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!”
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day. So the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can not work on the Sabbath! It is illegal to carry that sleeping mat!”
He replied, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Pick up your sleeping mat and walk’”.
“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
The man did not know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went to find the Jewish leaders and told them it was Jesus who had healed him."
In 1192, Saladin turned the church into a Muslim theological school, which is commemorated in an inscription above the church's entrance. Eventually abandoned, the church fell into ruin until the Ottomans donated it to France in 1856. It was subsequently restored, but most of what remains today is original.
St. Anne's Church is located in the Muslim Quarter, near the Lion's Gate. Enter through a wooden doorway leading to a hidden garden enclave.
Greek inscription on a stone tablet at the Pool of Bethesda amongst the ruins at the foot of St. Anne's Catholic Church, located just inside the gate variously called Lions', St. Stephen's, and St Mary's, in Old City, Jerusalem.
Part Two next week: The connection of this site to the Legend of the True Cross and St Raphael, the angel of healing.